The 'Jewel of Micronesia', Palau, consisting of more than 250 islands is a perfect holiday destination. From glorified ancient culture to friendly jellyfishes, you will not have a dull day when in Palau!
Part of the Micronesia group, Palau covers an area of about 465 square kilometers!
The island was first settled in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC, however, it was first explored by Europeans in the 16th century, when it was a part of the Spanish East Indies in 1574.
It was only in 1994 that under the Compact of Free Association, the island gained full sovereignty.
Best known for its coastlines (about 1519 kilometers in length), Palau's beaches are picturesque with clear blue waters! However, the terrain does vary from mountainous parts of Babeldaob to beautiful low coral islands.
Known for its natural beauty, Palau has many waterfalls, the Ngardmau, being the largest one (120 feet wide and 100 feet high)!
Not to forget the famous Rock Islands that Palau is famous for! A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Rock Islands are a site of about 200 rounded limestone rocks that are forest-capped, deeply plunged into the sea.
A matrilineal social system is in existence in Palau where women are the decision-makers! Right from inheritance to funerals, women are given importance.
Off the island of Ell Malk, the Jellyfish Lake is safe heaven to swim, as there are no predators in the lagoon! A boat ride to the lake will also make for a beautiful sight due to the golden hue that the jellyfishes create.
The Milky Way Lagoon is famous for its natural spa treatments, as the mud at the bottom of the cove is known for its natural healing and anti-ageing properties!
Palau proudly shows off world's first shark sanctuary (about 600,000 square kilometers) which houses about 130 different species of sharks! Tourists can scuba dive at the spot and enjoy a day out with sharks.
The 100-year-old lighthouse which was built by the Germans during WWII and later taken by the Japanese who put up cannons and anti-aircraft guns around the lighthouse is a popular tourist spot!
The island of Ulong is an architectural treasure with artefacts such as clay pots and shells, as old as 4000 years kept preserved!
The US Dollar is the official currency of Palau.
English and Palauan are the official languages of the island while Japanese is also spoken in some parts of the island.
Palau doesn't have its own military force! The United States of America is responsible for the defense system of the island.
Palau has about 20% of its population working overseas, making it one of the highest percentage of citizens residing abroad, in the world!
Another interesting fact about the island is that it doesn't have any college or university! There are trade schools, but anyone seeking admission in colleges usually heads to the US.